Ensalada Rusa (Russian Salad)

by Erica Dinho on January 15, 2010

This post is also available in Spanish

Ensalada Rusa

Ensalada Rusa or Russian Salad is a popular dish in Colombia and other Latin American countries. I remember eating this delicious potato salad as a side dish to Pernil de Cerdo (Roasted Pork Leg or Ham), at almost every party my family ever had in Colombia.

Como hacer ensalada rusa

My husband hates potato salad, so I never made this one for him before. I made it recently for this site and he loved it so much that he asked me to make it again a week later for a family party. To my surprise everyone at the party asked for the recipe as they loved it too. They all said that it was much different from the potato salads that they are used to eating here in the United States. There are a lot of variations of this salad, but I make the one my aunt makes in Colombia and it is delicious. Try it, I would love to know what you think of my Russian Salad.

Ensalada Rusa

PrintSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 large peeled potatoes, cooked and diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup diced and cooked carrots
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche or crema de leche
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Ensalada Rusa

Directions

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, creme fraiche, lime juice, salt, pepper and cumin. Set aside.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, add the onions, carrots, peas and cilantro. Add the mayonnaise mixture and toss well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Serve Cold or at room temperature.
  4. Ensalada Rusa

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 La Gringa January 15, 2010 at 9:02 AM

I hate potato salad but this is the best. I love this salad and the repollo salad too. My family made this for Christmas and New Years. It went nice with a slice of Ham…..

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2 Olga January 15, 2010 at 9:21 AM

This is one of my favorite dishes ever (I grew up in Russia). Our version is slightly different: no cumin or paprika, and we use mayonnaise. Also, we add chopped boiled eggs, pickles, chopped Granny Smith apple and chopped onion instead of grated one.

But your looks AMAZING! This salad takes some work, but is so worth it (especially as leftovers for days to come).

In the past I’ve used de-frosted peas instead of canned or cooked one.

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3 Yvette May 25, 2013 at 12:12 AM

What kind of pickles

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4 Tangled Noodle January 15, 2010 at 9:36 AM

This looks so delicious and so colorful! I love the addition of crème fraîche which, I imagine, helps to cut the richness of the mayonnaise. I bet this is absolutely amazing as a side dish to Pernil de Cerdo – wish I had a plate of it right now. 8-)

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5 Erica January 15, 2010 at 9:57 AM

Thank you guys ;-)

Olga- I love the addition of apples. Thank you!

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6 Angie@Angie's Recipes January 15, 2010 at 10:25 AM

wow! The salad looks gorgeous! Just gorgeous.

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7 Kim January 15, 2010 at 11:05 AM

I love all potato salads, but this one is especially pretty! I’m happy to hear that your husband liked it as well.

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8 Ruth January 15, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Hmm Never thought of adding cumin and paprika to mine! Sounds really delicious!

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9 Karen January 15, 2010 at 12:30 PM

That is quite different than good ol’ American potato salad! I like the addition of the carrots and the cilantro. Very nice!

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10 Faith January 15, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Your Russian salad is gorgeous, Erica! I love the addition of cumin for a little more spice!

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11 Erica January 15, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Thank you everyone!

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12 Christine @ Fresh Local and Best January 15, 2010 at 12:50 PM

I think it speaks well to this potato salad that you husband enjoyed it. Looks great!

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13 Sook January 15, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Wow that sounds really good! Congrats on converting your husband to this salad. Sure looks delicious.

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14 Mari January 15, 2010 at 1:04 PM

I looks delicious. In my country, Dominican Republic, we call it the same, but we also add red beets. The beets give the salad a pinkish color.

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15 Anonymous January 15, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Mmm!… No la he probado nunca con el pimentón y el cilantro. Yo suelo ponerle también atún, pero la próxima vez probare como la tuya.
Un beso.

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16 Erica January 15, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Thanks for visiting and for the comments!

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17 Cynthia January 15, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Okay, that does it. I am making some potato salad this weekend!

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18 Sandra g January 15, 2010 at 4:12 PM

I have to try this version of Ensalada Rusa!, is different from my Dominican version, we add remolachas (beets) and eggs to ours, and my husband Peruvian version is also different!

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19 Oysterculture January 15, 2010 at 4:19 PM

You know you are speaking directly to my stomach when you post a Russian Salad recipe. Thanks so much for sharing your version.

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20 Joan Nova January 15, 2010 at 4:52 PM

I’m not a big fan of American potato salad and don’t eat it. But I really do enjoy Ensalada Rusa. I’ve made it at home and dressed it with olive oil + a little vinegar and then molded it and applied the mayo (like a frosting only the outside). Like Mari, I too have done it with beets. I think I’ve used a little garlic powder too – which makes it totally different than the American version.

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21 Gloria January 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Erica, love your salad! Look fantatsic, Mom always made this at dinners, nice!! gloria

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22 Diana January 15, 2010 at 5:57 PM

I love this version Erica! We make this in Spain as well, homemade mayo is what really makes it :D I will have to try this version!!

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23 Erica January 15, 2010 at 6:14 PM

Thank you everyone! I love all those wonderful comments and variations of Russian salad.

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24 Jhonny Walker January 15, 2010 at 6:42 PM

russian salad was the first ever fancy salad of my life! It always has a special place :)

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25 Maria January 15, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Russian Salad has always been a very popular side dish in Greece as well and I always thought it was something “european” … didn’t realize it was so popular elsewhere!

Greeks tend to add hardboiled eggs to their version. I like the cumin and lime juice here … must add a nice tangy flavor.

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26 Anna January 16, 2010 at 1:10 AM

Wow, my mother used to make this salad almost every Sunday. I use to call it Sunday Salad.
Yours looks delicious.

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27 Natasha - 5 Star Foodie January 16, 2010 at 1:15 AM

So, my husband too dislikes potato salads because they are mayonnaise-based and I never get to make my version of the russian salad (as in Olga’s version, mine is mayonnaise based too and he doesn’t even like it with soy-based mayo either). But I think he may like this version because it has creme fraiche and I will definitely be giving it a try! Thanks!

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28 theUngourmet January 16, 2010 at 1:41 AM

I love all of the great veggies in this salad! I also like that the onion is grated. Very nice!

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29 pierre January 16, 2010 at 5:35 AM

in france we call it “macedonia” salad !! cheers from paris PIerre

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30 Miriam/The Winter Guest January 16, 2010 at 5:38 AM

Oh yes, it’s exceedingly popular in Spain… I will add a can of oil preserved tuna and some cookes shrimps… lovely in the summer! I dind’t know it was so popular in Latin America either.

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31 monicajane January 16, 2010 at 10:36 AM

my mother made this and it was from our native Italy Insalata Russa — almost the same.

she used to make the mayonnaise homemade (with eggs and olive oil) which is absolutely to die for—then stack the potatoes in a cake like mound and cover it with a layer of the mayonnaise…it was very beautiful.

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32 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella January 17, 2010 at 5:01 AM

This is beautiful Erica! I used to ahve this salad all the time with my Russian best friend in high school and it’s delicious indeed. Thanks for sharing the recipe! :D

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33 Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction January 17, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Yum.. That salad looks really good. I’m wishing I had all of the ingredients so I could make it tonight! I will have to stock up at the store!

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34 Erica January 17, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Thank you everyone for reading my post!

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35 Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen January 18, 2010 at 1:50 PM

I love all kinds of potato salads and I have never had one like this before! it is awesome!

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36 Michelle January 18, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Was just thinking about making some Potato Salad to help push the winter blues away for at least one meal!

The addition of lime is so interesting and no doubt delicious!

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37 Chef E January 20, 2010 at 1:01 PM

I made a potato salad for my son last week and use mustard, curry, and red onion. Simple, spicy, and part creamed potato’y like texture. I liked it growing up that way. Texas we do mustard, I never cared for the mayo either, but the peas are calling me, so I should try this!

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38 Erica January 23, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Thank you all for the comments!

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39 Soma January 24, 2010 at 12:09 PM

I love potato salads, but my hubby hates them.. the creamy ones. Do you think I can use something else instead of mayo? … may be yogurt or sour cream? will have to try it out. Looks so pretty with dotted jewels.

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40 Erica January 25, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Soma- You can use sour cream. That will be delicious too!

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41 Bibi February 22, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Erica, I am making this salad today! except i dont have creme fraiche or sour cream so I am using heavy whipping cream instead and hoping it tastes just as yummy, i am also adding one hard boiled egg.!

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42 Marta S. April 9, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Hello Erica,
I am so glad i found your blog, It’s so nice that a ‘paisita’ is doing something like this, putting all our delicious colombian recipes together, -thanks indeed!.
let me tell you, I had completely forgot about the Russian salad, it used to be my darling eldest bro’s (RIP), favorite except that he used cooked long beans (bite size) as well and red minced onions. I am going to make one tomorrow and I figure if I put a little bit of mustard…I’ll see, tell you later. I’ll be thinking of my beloved brother while i prepare it and thanking you for reminding me about it. hope my family will like it. I am from Bogota and I love ‘Paisas’. Gracias y hasta pronto.

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43 Anonymous June 7, 2010 at 7:59 PM

This salad is super easy to make, does not require a lot of ingredients, and is delicious. It tastes even better the next day.

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44 Beverly J. June 12, 2010 at 3:25 AM

Thank you for reminding me of this recipe. I tried an order of a similar salad at a deli and loved it. I tried to duplicate if for a picnic and it was a hit. I got many compliments. That was a long time ago. Now I can make it the “real” way.

I’m a new comer to your site, but I’m here to stay. I’m planning on trying the Colombian roast chicken tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

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45 Aleja June 25, 2010 at 8:16 AM

I made this salad last weekend and I was delicious. Everyone asked for the recipe.Thank you.

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46 Olga October 10, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Ensalada rusa, the best! I also grew up in Colombia and right now I am making one. I use the same ingredients but I add one extra one : cubed chicken breast, and diced salchicha de lata! I accompany this dish with saltines!! Great recipe!

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47 Sasha @ Global Table Adventure January 5, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Looks awesome! It’s funny how a “Russian” salad can be so popular in Latin America and the Caribbean :)

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48 Lalita gurung February 18, 2011 at 1:07 AM

I tried it at home n it was awesome……………….i love potato salad

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49 Betsy February 18, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Hi Erica,
I’m usually not a big fan of russian salad but yours looks amazingly good! Im ecuadorian and so we have a slightly different version of your recipe. We don’t use the lime juice but we do add apples to our recipe. It gives it a pinch of sweetness and the combination is a great burst of flavor withing the first bite. Thanks so much for all your wonderful recipes. But I was wondering if you had the recipe for pernil de cerdo..? Thanks! =)

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50 Maryvel June 15, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Erica, tu receta se ve muy buena! Mi mama solia hacer esta ensalada para paseos y todo el mundo queria comer su ensalada, pero esta receta no es como yo recuerdo la de mi mami, creo que la de ella llevaba pollo y salchichas como alguien mas menciono y dudo mucho que mi mami hubiese usado paprika, cilantro o cominos!

All of the sudden I am hungry for “Ensalada Rusa” mi mother used to make it at home for special occasion but this is not quite how I remembered it. I think she used to add chicken breast and winners, I also doubt she uses paprika or cumin. Oh well, I guess there is probably different version of it, eh? Thanks any way!

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51 Erica June 15, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Maryvel- They are different variations all over the country and South America….Some people add cooked eggs, beets, etc. This is my grandmother’s version!

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52 sneige December 30, 2011 at 2:43 PM

What a surprise! I thought that this salad is famous in Bulgaria only. We also call it Russian Salad, although it seems in Russia it is known as Olivier Salad.
We also add pickled gherkins (I loved these the most as a child) and some cubed ham or other kind of soft saussage

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53 Janette April 5, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Erica, I am making this salad for Easter Sunday for about 15 people. Since you didn’t mention how many servings in your recipe – not sure how many lbs. of potatoes I should buy? Thanks.

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54 Erica April 5, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Janette-For 15 people about 5 pounds of medium potatoes.

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55 Vanessa May 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

My abuela makes this salad! My family is all from Cartagena and I was raised in Miami. She adds canned pineapple chunks and chopped boiled eggs. This is my favorite salad and we too had it at everrrrryyyy special ocasion.

Your recipes have brought so many precious memories back, thank you.

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56 Kitty August 26, 2012 at 9:22 AM

This is the type of potato salad I’ve been eating my entire life. This is something my Babcia (grandmother) made for every holiday meal – Sałatka kartofli or Polish Potato Salad which is basically like your recipe but w/o cumin or lime. I might add a very small amount of fresh dill if available or chopped dill pickles when dill is out of season. In place of creme fraiche, I use sour cream. I’m going to try the cumin and cilantro next time I make this. My husband also dislikes typical ‘American Style’ Potato Salad but he will eat one prepared this way.

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